If relationships between mothers and daughters are complicated, I suspect that the ones between mothers-in-law and their daughters-in-law are even more so. As the mother of a son myself, I can well imagine my reaction if my son were to bring home the wrong girl. Not that I would disapprove or that I would try to make this new person’s life difficult; I like to think I’m not that type. But, we all have dreams for our children and that includes a spouse that will treat them well and be easy to get along with.
I’ve heard a lot of mother-in-law horror stories over the years and I suspect this is at the root of the problem. After all, your son gets to select this person – and you get to welcome them in and hope for the best. So, with all of these potential landmines in the process, no wonder there are fireworks in some families.
That’s why I feel so blessed that I have won the mother-in-law lottery not once but twice. Both of my mothers-in-law have been kind, sweet people who probably had lots of reasons not to like me but instead welcomed me into their family graciously and with open arms.
My first mother-in-law was an incredible woman who taught me how to garden organically, improve my sewing skills, make preserves and can tomatoes, and gave me practical parenting advice tactfully and only when I asked for it.
My current mother-in-law is equally amazing. A retired electrical engineer, she’s a smart, witty woman who knits, crochets, and hand-weaves. She’s a terrific cook and we love to yarn-shop together. In fact, she’s the one who got me started knitting in the first place and in so doing, opened up a wonderful new world that has given me a lot of joy. For this alone, I owe her a lot.
Both ladies are practical straight-shooters who gave advice only when it was asked for and respected that we, their children, would be smart enough to make good decisions on our own.
So, you can see why I believe I won the lottery. Not only did these women share their sons with me, they also shared their time and talents. I can only aspire to be as good when my son brings that girl home someday. Here’s hoping!